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A Burntwood councillor has warned public figures must be “mindful” of what they say after following comments made to him on social media.

Cllr Wai-Lee Ho became the first Lichfield District Council representative of Chinese heritage when he was elected earlier this month.

His election saw him feature in a publication aimed at the Chinese community, leading him to tweet a picture of the article.

His post was commented on by Cllr Steve Norman, leader of the opposition Labour group at Lichfield District Council, who said he had not been able to read the article, before making links to the Huawei brand, which has become embroiled in political battles in recent times.

But Cllr Ho said that while he did not feel Cllr Norman had set out to be offensive, he believes elected representatives do need to think carefully about the messages they are putting across.

“By being public figures we must be mindful of what we say,” he told Lichfield Live.

“Some people may have regarded Cllr Norman’s words as racially insensitive.

“It is my fear that if unchecked, racial insensitivity towards Chinese people will become socially acceptable and cause further marginalisation.”

But Cllr Ho said he had since spoken with his Labour rival about the tweet.

“After the annual meeting at Lichfield District Council, I approached Cllr Norman and reconciled with him.

“I am fond of Steve and enjoy talking with him outside the chamber and especially learning about his past political career. He is an interesting guy.”

Cllr Norman has been approached for comment.


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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